In a move that has weakened the indefinite strike traders had called against the implementation of local body tax (LBT), retailers decided to withdraw from the strike after five days on Saturday. However, they said they would continue to protest by not registering for LBT.
Viren Shah, president of the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said retailers could not sustain the shutdown for long. “Our retailers felt that since we were not getting results despite the strike, we might as well open the shops and protest,” said Shah. He said the FRTWA would form a committee to hold talks with the government.
The apex court has refused to grant a stay on LBT and chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has appointed a high-level committee to hold discussions with traders to resolve the issues.
Wholesalers, however, continue to stand their ground. They have been on strike since April 22, and the agitation had gained momentum when retailers joined the stir on May 5.
“The retailers are still with us and Shah does not represent all retailers,” said Milapchand Kanungo, senior member of Federation of Association of Maharashtra (FAM). “We request consumers to not buy from these retailers.”